Review: Alan Wake’s American Nightmare

Alan Wake's American Nightmare: a typical alan wake riddle
Now, which of these three switches should I pull?

Not just an American nightmare

Unfortunately, playing games in alphabetical order means that ‘Alan Wake’s American Nightmare’ was next, trying its best to undo the semi-good impression that ‘Alan Wake’ had left me with. The spinoff to the original game was released in 2012 and supposed to tell a more action oriented and less serious episode.

As I already stated in my review of the original, the action part of ‘Alan Wake’, while solid, grew boring fast on me and it was the same with the spinoff. Yes, they expanded the weapon arsenal, but that didn’t change the point-flashlight-then-shoot mechanic. Very much like in the real world, fighting gets much easier if you are handed a machine gun, which is either a good or a bad thing – the fights are boring, but they are over fast.

No more madness

I was hoping they’d go for all out weirdness story wise, but there isn’t much story to begin with. Everything feels much cheaper compared to the original. Instead of an insane Heavy Metal shootout, we only get a regular shootout with some Heavy Metal playing in the background. The game looks worse. It has a lot less cinematic cut scenes. The writing is bad and the voice acting bland. The only thing that made me happy, was that they kept the guy who did the puzzles – they are still so insultingly easy, that it feels like the one good joke in the game.

I did a lot of running from A to B and back, only to find out that they used the cheapest trick in game writing to not only reuse all of their three locations, but also had me basically do the same stuff I had already done there, again – and again. At that point I decided I didn’t want to spend another minute with this game, but I had to return and make a screenshot and finished it anyway. It’s probably not as bad as I make it sound. It’s just that you shouldn’t play this right after the far superior original game.

We might not have become the best of friends, but you deserved better Alan Wake.

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